The Cross House

Cary Grant…Is In The House.

Today, Cary Grant arrived at the Cross House.

Previously, I alluded to his visit, and am thrilled that Mr. Grant has now stepped over the threshold!

OK, so, ah, maybe it’s not really Cary Grant.

Maybe…it…is…Bo! Yes! Bo Sullivan has traveled half-way across the country to document the 1894 wallpapers in the house, no matter that the papers are but fragments and pitiful.

Besides being a historic wallpaper fiend aficionado, Bo has an extraordinary level of knowledge about Victorian-era architecture and design. While I am kinda at kindergarten level, Bo is a university graduate summa cum laude. I feel a little awestruck in his presence.

Within ten minutes after arriving, Bo figured out a REALLY odd thing about the front doors which has perplexed me for three years. More later!

As it was late, I then took Bo to dinner at Radius, where my favorite waitress brought us pizzas! After an arresting conversation about architecture/history/psychology we walked through the dark night to the Cross House, with many of its stained-glass windows lighted up. A sight I always just gasp at.

Back inside, we walked through the house with our iPhones as flashlights, as many rooms have no lighting. Normally, I am in the house 99% of the time during daylight hours, so this nocturnal tour was, even for me, an adventure!

While standing in the first-floor south hall, I told Bo that he was forbidden to leave until he figured out the mystery of the closet door. He assumed I was kidding.

While on the second floor Bo noticed something small but altogether inexplicable, a something which has wholly escaped my attention. More later!

We also peered our phone flashlights behind radiators asking the same question: Might some fabulous 1894 wallpaper be hidden here or here or here? More later!

I have two more Bo days. And am breathless with excitement and anticipation.


Bo, gently, admiringly, and perhaps even lustily caressing the 1894 Yale & Towne hardware. Well, I fully understand.


I have published two books. Two books about a lot of really cool and interesting people who died a long time ago.

It is heartbreaking writing about people one yearns to talk with and hug…but cannot.

It is heartbreaking writing about people one yearns to experience…but cannot.

It is heartbreaking writing about a person one yearns to listen to, to their stories as their face crinkles with laughter, as their expressions are animated by passion, and as their eyes are enlivened by a twinkle. But cannot, as the person has been gone for a century or more.

Today, thus, was a rare experience for me. I felt like I was meeting a historical individual, for while I have long read about Bo, and have long emailed Bo, and have long written about Bo, I had not until today met Bo.

As we sat across our table at Radius, eating our pizzas, I felt my heart fill with joy and gratitude that all this was actually happening! Now! In 2017!

Bo’s face crinkled with laughter, his expressions were animated by passion, and his eyes were constantly enlivened by a twinkle.

All across the table from me. In 2017. Now.





18 Responses to Cary Grant…Is In The House.

  1. Awesome Cary is in the house! But how can you dangle such a tidbit as the solving of a perplexing question without answering it!!!! Ack! Sleepless night tonight.

  2. I want to knoooow about the “more later”s !! What a great encounter with Bo, your writing really conveys your admiration and feelings! (as usual!) 🙂

  3. I am so so happy for you and Bo. Have a blast at the Cross house. Better than a trip to the Bahamas in the middle of winter.

  4. Well now I won’t get anything done this weekend because I will be constantly checking back to see if you’ve shared the answers to the tantalizing, teasing “more later” mysteries!

  5. Oh that was so mean! I can’t wait for the rest on the closet!! ???? You two have fun but don’t leave us waiting too long for those answers, pretty pretty please with a cherry on top.

  6. Bo is systematically perceptive, loves the details and is deeply interested in architectural history. He’s a well of knowledge and oh yeah he’s my annoying brother. Could never pull one over on him. He’s a delight.

  7. As readers of this blog well know, Ross can be “enthusiastic” with his praise – I’m much closer to Ernest Borgnine. And as readers of this blog also know, the honor is mine to be here.

    • At dinner yesterday I asked Bo: “Do you always walk around with a half-smile?”

      Bo responded: “What do you mean?”

      “Since you arrived, a half-smile has been a consistent feature on your face.”

      So, if Bo is Ernest Borgnine, he seems a very happy Ernest!

      And my praise is deserved. Just take one look at the image of Bo. Does THAT look like a grumpy guy????????

  8. When I first arrived, I lustilly rubbed and caressed most features of the house too. lol Bo has the right idea.

  9. Ross, I am so glad to have subscribed to this gem of a blog! Your writing is descriptive and engaging and your enthusiasm is awesome! I look forward to seeing entries in my email, and have deleted several other blogs to take the time I need to read yours! Very nice, sir! Now, how long do we all have to dangle for the ‘more later’???

  10. Ross, this is off topic, but I was spending my Sunday afternoon looking at youtube videos, and noticed something is several different houses. The downstairs had electric and gas light fixtures but the upstairs had gas sconces and electric lights! These were all houses that had the original light fixtures too. So that might help in your lighting endeavors.

  11. Please advise Mr. Grant to watch out for low flying airplanes. 😉 Or is it Cobra in the house?

    If Victor Borge ever decides to come for a visit, I will cancel all plans and drive down for story time!!

  12. I’m re-reading the entire blog, and this instalment plus the visit from Bette Davis are fantastic. I hope to join their number some day soon. As for food – that Radius menu has me drooling! Happy weekend in Kansas from me here in the middle east.

  13. There’s an awful lot of lusty caressing in your blog. Just saying. Really cool that your online friends are starting to visit. Can’t wait to read about what Bo discovered.

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